The experiences in this article are the author’s, and the author’s alone; what works for one might not work for another. If you feel upset, apathetic or anxious for a prolonged period, you should consult professional medical advice.
Your health is important. In year 12 you may slowly forget this as the year gets tougher. I’m here to remind you so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.
It was only until I graduated from high school that I realised how much I neglected my mental health. Throughout year 12 there was all sorts of pressure. Pressure from myself, from my family and from my school. In year 12 everyone advocates for making sure that you use you time wisely. That every moment of your living day should be used for studying. That you should make sacrifices such as quitting the hobby you love or stop going out with your friends. That your phone is evil and you should cut Netflix and social media.
It was this mindset that led me to being burnt out and ultimately get a lower ATAR than expected. Burn out is common and it can happens to anyone. The only thing you can do to prevent it is to take your health seriously. So here are some of the ways you can take care of your health
In year 12 my sleep was like this. I’d stay up late on caffeine one day trying to study for a test. The next day I would wake up feeling so groggy. I would have zero energy and not even remember what we were learning about the next day. Now that I’m in university, I make sure that I get enough sleep so I can function properly the next day.
In year 12 I did not exercise at all. Like many students, once PE was done in year 10. I never once went for a run or did any physical activity. Now that I’m in uni and I go to gym 3 times a week I regret not exercising throughout high school.
Exercise lifted my mood. I was able to focus and get lost in something for an hour of my time. It took all the stress away. Regularly exercising also taught me that anything was possible.
I never was one to journal. It didn’t work for me but when I tried it again in university, I found that it helped me with reflecting my moods my feelings. VCE is a rollercoaster and taking a moment out of your day to reflect on how you feel can be beneficial.
If interested, check out these VCE Journey Journals.
In year 12 I didn’t allow myself to socialise. My socialising consisted of group studying at the library. Even then that was with the intention of studying. It is important to socialise without studying. Go to parties. Go out to eat. Enjoy hanging out with your friends. There is more to life than studying.
Carve a couple of hours for yourself. Allow yourself to do whatever. Whether it is watching Netflix or playing video games, make this your time. Don’t let anything get in the way. Give yourself time to rest, to recover, and to do what you want.
Apply a face mask, read a book. This time is for you. Don’t think about studying. Don’t think about school work. Just focus on you.
Just remember that your health is important. If you ever feel like it’s too much, don’t be afraid to seek help.
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